Memoirs of Josef Boruwlaski - CHAP. X.

CHAP. X.
Visit to the lake of Killarney -- Kind reception at Limerick -- Friendly conduct of the Quakers at Clonmell -- Methodist Preacher deserted by his flock -- Journey to Tuam and Galway; lucrative benefits at these places -- Successful expedient to settle a dispute with a landlord, or "A new way to pay old debts" -- Journey to Sligo -- Doctrine of Rousseau -- Sudden transition from the meanest to the most comfortable and splendid accommodations; and kind liberality of an amiable family.

            AFTER settling my affairs at Cork, as I had an opportunity to visit the lake of Killarney, I set out immediately. In fact, I was not disappointed, for I saw more than I expected. This lake is entirely surrounded with mountains, rocks, and precipices, which are covered with wood. There is on the top enclosed by mountains, a small lake, called the Devil's Punch Bowl; the superfluous water of which, falling through a chasm into the middle of the lake, forms one of the most beautiful cascades: the echo of which, amongst the hills, is equally wonderful. This lake, or rather phenomenon of nature, really deserves to be seen. I found there a great number of every description of people; amongst many others, was a gentleman, who politely approached me, and offered me his hand, for fear any accident should befall me. When we were going away, a lady, with a loud voice, said, "Take care, that that little gentleman does not fall." I turned round, and seeing a beautiful and lovely nymph, replied, "Madam, I fall already." This answer procured me the friendship of both: they were much delighted, and I found afterwards that the lady was his wife. He instantly called her, and they both proposed to me to visit Limerick, with a promise to procure me a good concert. Her eloquent speech, joined with a graceful and persuasive manner, and his Irish promise, which was more to be depended upon than that of many countries that would confirm it with an oath, prevailed with me. I made no resistance; but soon accepted their warm invitation, with a promise to be there on the day appointed.

            Before I drove into the town, this amiable couple met me, and conducted me to a lodging, and would not allow me that day to take my dinner at home, but insisted on my going to dine with them. I considered it would be improper to refuse their kind invitation, and therefore complied with their request. I spent a most agreeable day, being introduced to many of their friends. I was surprised to see so large a party; but soon found the reason of it, which was, by an ingenious contrivance, to procure me a numerous concert. By this means, my benefit succeeded wonderfully; for there was such a crowded room, that many were obliged to return home; and, to prove the great influence of Mr. and Mrs. Brown, all those persons the next day sent their ticket-money, with interest. So that, not only the handsome figure of Mrs. Brown, but also the beauty of her mind, must be admired. I take this opportunity, with sincere emotions of gratitude, to return my humble thanks to the inhabitants of Limerick for the flattering attention they conferred upon me.

            But, notwithstanding the kind reception I experienced, I was obliged to quit their amiable and interesting society, to go to Clonmell, the chief town of the county of Tipperary. I was mistaken in ranking Clonmell amongst the splendid towns in this kingdom; for it appeared to me deficient in brilliant society. I found the people, by their peculiar mode of living, dwelling in a retreat, and as it were shut out from the busy world. Yet I was not deprived of their society: they were Quakers, to whom I was introduced; and I spent among them many agreeable moments. I was never acquainted with those people's principles, but learned, from their own account, that George Fox, who was born at Drayton in Leicestershire, was endowed with such an original fund of good sense, and such a flow of eloquence, that, by his abilities, he became the Patriarch of Quakerism, and dictator of their minds and consciences. But I shall not pursue my remarks on their spiritual concerns, since their morals evidently appear humane, and salutary, to the general interests of mankind. I found virtues in those quiet and sociable people, superior to those of any other religious sect; and I have remarked, that you seldom find a Quaker committing a crime, the inhabitant of a gaol, or a beggar in the street, which is certainly a great deal to say in their favour. Whatever, therefore, their gospel may preach, their actions must be an example. I confess, I took leave of them with regret; so much did I admire their retired manner of living. Therefore, they are never in want of society, and never looking out for new amusements; which idle minds seem continually hunting after, while, by so doing, they sow the seed of peevishness for old age. With regard to myself, they understood what sort of life I pursued, which was in the busy world, amidst a tumult of people, where every one is not master of his own ideas; and which may be a good school to learn patience in. In consequence of this, they provided me letters of introduction to Ballinasloe, which I found of great service to me. Those to whom I delivered them, procured me a crowded and select concert, attended by a number of officers, who were quartered there during my stay.

            There was a great wool fair in this place -- according to public report, the first in the kingdom; which, from the description given of it to me, excited my curiosity to go to see it. But a gentleman to whom I was recommended, and from whom I received many kind attentions, opposed an obstacle to my intention, fearing such a number of people would be rather troublesome; so he postponed it till the next day, which was Sunday, saying, all people would be at prayers, and I could see the place at my leisure. Next morning, the gentleman, not forgetting his engagement, came and took breakfast with me, and when we were ready to set out, I heard a particular voice, of a man in the street. I looked out at the window, and saw a crowd of people at my door, and, in the middle, a man with a book in his hand. At first, it appeared to me a comical business; but, at last, I was astonished to see, that in a civilized country they should allow such cruelty, as to make game of a poor unfortunate creature, whom I took for a lunatic; and, if Mr. Crump had not acquainted me with the contrary, I should have remained in the same idea. He told me the man was a Methodist; and he spoke it in a sort of discontent, as a reproach to the Church of England being defective in delivering the Gospel; whence arise many errors, which furnish a variety of sects, called Dissenters. This was the information I received from Mr. Crump, who was not sparing in his objections to the National Church; and he seemed to me, as one who had got the visionary complaint of Swedenborg, or his madness for the new Jerusalem. Consequently, I did not wait to hear the conclusion of his chapter, but departed from him, and took my station in the street, to listen to the Methodist preacher. But, as I happened to make my appearance when they were singing a hymn, I caused a discord in their tune, by giving a sudden turn to their inspiration. As soon as they observed me, they all crowded to the place where I was, and left their pastor, with his book in his hands, to conclude the duty by himself. It was certainly a cruel circumstance for a shepherd to be thus forsaken by his flock; and the last effort he made to recover them, was to cry out, "Brethren, my dear brethren, return to your duty, and don't follow this little red devil" (it happened I was dressed that day in a red coat); but this effort of his anxious mind made no impression upon them, and, the more to show their inattention to his doctrine, they began to make such a noise, that it put the whole town in alarm; and the garrison flew to arms, thinking that the enemy was approaching. At this time, the whole nation, upon the political stage, was performing a tragic scene. In consequence of which, the Colonel ordered all the streets to he well guarded by the troops; of which, one of horse found the preacher singing a hymn, No. 306, adapted to Handels March. The Captain bearing this. and having no idea of a hymn, stopped him with a reprimand, thinking he was singing a ballad; and though he gave a very long explanation, the Captain would not understand his vindication, saying, he never heard of a hymn to the tune of a march. At last, he declared he was a Methodist preacher, and begged of him to allow him to wait for his congregation who had deserted him, and gone with the red devil. The Captain, finding out immediately that he alluded to me, asked where I was gone. "Gone!" said he, "I suppose to the devil!" "Then you must go there after him," replied the Captain, "and you will be sure to "find your people." During this altercation, they began to hear their voices so loud, that they could distinguish where they were; and when tranquillity was restored, the garrison returned to the barracks: but the Captain, anxious to give me assistance, for fear any accident should happen to me, came with his dragoons, and escorted me home; when I saw the countenance of the preacher pictured with anger.

            But, leaving no time for his inspiration to work, I set out for Tuam, where I found good sociable people; by whom I was well received, and who were ready to render me any service in their power. I took this opportunity, and gave a concert, to defray the expenses of my journey to Galway. I was not disappointed in the idea I had conceived of their generous dispositions; for their benevolence inducing them to give me every facility to pursue my travels, they afforded me a most lucrative benefit. Often have I gratified my feelings with a pleasing remembrance of their kindness, which has left an indelible impression on my mind. After having experienced so much goodness, it .was with sorrow I was obliged to leave them, and find my way to Galway.

            This city, as far as I can remember, is seated in a bay, and most commodiously situated for trade. There is a considerable herring fishery, and I understand it is the only place that has any foreign trade. It is also prettily built, and has the appearance of a flourishing city. The citizens receive strangers with great civility,-- not with insignificant politeness, similar to a sponge full of water, which when squeezed becomes dry; but the essence of true hospitality dwells in their hearts, and never can be eradicated from them. At my introduction to their society, how kindly did they receive me! Their attention was paid in a manner that makes a foreigner easy, and which attracts respect and love. They had the penetration to see I was not a hunter after fortune, but that the manner of life which accident had forced me to adopt, was repugnant to my feelings; so they consulted among themselves what was best to be done; but it was decreed above, that not any thing was to be settled at this time, but that a concert was as much as I could expect, which was numerously attended. This brilliant assembly put me in a cheerful situation, and I remained here some weeks longer. In the course of the pleasant time I spent in this amiable society, I often met General Hutchinson, whom I found a most amiable man, and. his conversation interesting and agreeable. However, I should not dare to trust myself opposite to him, to converse through a cannon, as I have heard. he is rather a bold gentleman upon such occasions, and gives no time for a reply.

            After many agreeable moments passed in this polite city, I proposed to pay a visit to Sligo; for, not only business called me thither, but curiosity induced me to see this corner of the Island, as it had the reputation of having savage inhabitants in it. I therefore made preparations for my departure. On the day Appointed for my setting off, my servant Noad, as usual on such occasions, went to pay the landlord, Mr. McDule, two pounds, which was due that week for my lodgings, and Mr. McDule made no objection to accept it; but, in his memorandum book, he pretended to shew I owed him the sum of sixteen pounds, and that he had only received one half; and, moreover, that he was ready to take his oath, I had agreed to give him four pounds per week. Noad firmly opposed him, and stood to the truth, saying, he was a witness that the agreement was made for only two pounds per week; so a warm dispute arose between them, which forced me to go down stairs to see what was the matter. I found my Irish Paddy, Noad, like an honest servant, eagerly interested in his master's business. Finding, however, that his good arguments did not avail, he thought a good blow on the head would be more comprehensible, and was accordingly preparing to inflict it; but Mr. McDule, threatening he would make him pay fifty pounds if he did so, stopped the intrepidity of Noad, who then told him he would not touch a perjurer.

            This gave great offence to Mr. McDule, who replied with fury, that there was never a Methodist known to be a perjurer. Noad wanting to argue on this subject, which in fact he did not understand, I put a stop to the dispute, by saying, "Let his faith alone." "No, no, master," he answered, "I only wanted to knock his head, not his face." This blundering reply made me laugh, and I told him to come along with me. When I was alone, I began to think, that such a man as McDule could have no principle of honour, by his wanting to impose on me in this way, and that, on such an occasion, it would be very allowable, by some stratagem or other, to avoid injury or insult; and, at the same time, if possible, to make game of him. Consequently, I formed a project that he might quarrel with my servant, which was more proper than with myself. I instructed Noad in what manner to proceed: I gave him orders to go from home, and not to appear till late at night, and at his return, to make a loud knocking at the door, pretending to be drunk, and when let in, to ask for a candle to go to bed, which I would contrive should be refused him; be was then to say. some unpleasant thing to the landlord, as I have experienced that those creatures who have not a spark of sense, are soon put in a passion with the least trifle, having no bridle to restrain their fury, which accordingly becomes their master. "It is two to one," said I, "he will give you a blow: and in that case you may cry out, 'Murder,' and say, you will make a complaint to the Mayor, and make him pay forty pounds for his imprudence." So, after this lesson given to Noad, I sent him away; and the evening approaching, I went down to prepare McDule to meet Noad, when I found him saying his prayers. "I beg pardon," said I to him, "if I intrude upon your devotions, the pleasures arising from which, are certainly greatly preferable to, and much more sublime than, any other what-ever." "You are welcome, Sir," he replied, "I am meditating on the instruction contained in this Holy Book, wherein we are taught to be careful of doing nothing wrong, if we wish to save our souls." "You are right, Sir," said I, "to meditate on so important a subject; which, I trust, will so far influence your mind as to make you detest a bad action; and therefore I conclude you will not take an oath concerning the money in dispute between us." But I found his principles as dry as a stick for the fire, and that he was still determined to take his oath before the Mayor. I called for Noad, though I knew he was not there. Mr. McDule said, "Your witness will be of no use, and he is not at home." "He is," said I, "probably gone out to drink: many times he has done me this mischief before I left town. At Tuam he came home drunk, got a candle, went to his room, and set fire to the curtains of his bed; and if the servant girl had not perceived it, the whole house would have been in a flame, and very probably the whole neighbourhood would have shared the same fate." "My dear Sir," replied he, "for your sake and my own, I will sit up for him, and will not allow him to take a candle." "I wish you would," said I, "and to prevent any mischief, open the door yourself and we will be safe."

            Having so well laid my plan for putting this cat into the sack, that I was confident of success, I, therefore, wished him good night, pretending to go to bed. About the time appointed, I heard a knocking at the door, which not only raised McDule, but the whole street. Mr. McDule opening the door, beheld Noad drunk, who desired a candle to go to bed. Mr. McDule, as was expected, refused to give him a candle. Noad finding an opportunity, seized the candlestick, and both holding it fast, one pulled against the other. But Noad proving the strongest brought him to my parlour, and there took possession a both candle and candlestick; and, without any thought of malice (I presume), told him he was a great Geographer. It must he remarked, that a person in a passion, as nearly as possible resembles a mad man, and seldom takes time to consider what his adversely may say; therefore McDule, in a flame of passion, replied, "None of my family were Geographers, but all the McDules were honest people." Noad, perceiving his ignorance, began to repeat the same words, to induce him to strike. He was not disappointed in his views; for McDule approaching with fury, gave him a blow. Noad, pretending to fall to the ground, cried out, "Murder," which raised all the people that lodged in the house, who came down to prevent mischief They found him with his nose apparently bleeding, which in his fall wader the table he had rubbed with some red stuff having the appearance of blood. Every one was against McDule, saying, if they had not come, Noad would have been killed. Noad, from under the table returned them thanks, and begged them to be witnesses how he was bruised, as he intended to go to the Mayor, to get forty pounds to defray the doctor's expenses; and they all promised to support him upon this occasion. Mr. McDule, finding himself in an awkward situation, became a little milder; and, his insolence beginning to abate, he slowly rapped at my bedroom door. Pretending to be suddenly awaked, I asked, who was there. He said, I am a friend come to beg a favour." I opened the door and asked, in what respect I could be useful. to him. "I beg of you," he said, "to set out before sun-rise, to prevent your servant going to the Mayor, as I have bruised his nose by accident; therefore, allow me, Sir, to order the Chaise at four o'clock in the morning." "Then," said I, "do you give up your claim to the sum you demanded of me?" "My dear Sir," he replied, "there has been some error about the money indeed, you do not owe me any thing." "Well, well," said I, "I forgive a fault when it is involuntary; I only request you to give me a receipt in full for the sum I have paid, as I do not owe you any thing, and I consent to set out at any time to oblige you, as all my things are ready." In short, McDule went to order the chaise, Noad having only time to wash his face, and apologize to McDule for the deception he had put upon him, at his altered appearance. McDule found himself rather stupefied, and was persuaded Noad had taken a lesson from the stage at Drury-Lane, in London.

            After this manner of contriving to save my money, I set out for Sligo; but the journey was tedious and uncomfortable, it being winter. I recollect, the second night the driver could not find the road, for the darkness of the sky, and deepness of the snow; and missing his way, we were obliged to stop at an obscure village, where the people have the reputation of being savage. We drove to a cabin, and called a man. When he appeared, I asked him, if it was convenient for him to receive us. "Yes," said he, "with pleasure, but I have no bed, or other place than where I sleep myself, and if you will accept clean straw to lie upon, you are welcome." The darkness of the night, and storminess of the weather, induced me to accept his rustic, but hearty invitation, and completely reconciled me to his straw bed. In his cabin, I found a dozen such creatures, left to the care of nature, who had taught them to pay every attention, unaccompanied by any empty forms, to their guests, each being employed in giving new proofs of service, and of zealous benevolence; not having borrowed their principles from schools, and much less from Universities, where we learn to disguise our passions and the weakness of our mind, which, notwithstanding all our care, may yet be discovered. But this good innocent people deserve to be admired for their humane dispositions, said I to myself; -- this rude state of society, which I now behold, proves to me how little advantage those gain, who wish to be above simple nature. I found in the breast of those people the true repository of happiness; indeed, their minds were perfectly content, thinking their cabin as comfortable as the first lord's palace, without any hazard of their being victims of slavish ambition, which often produces the worst consequences.

            Whilst, with these interesting thoughts in my mind, I was examining their cheerful countenances, I was interrupted by an unexpected message from a gentleman, inviting me to take a bed at his house, and announcing that supper was waiting for me, and his coach ready at the door of the cabin. To be thus transported from straw, as it were by some fairy trick, to a feather bed, produced a sudden change in my situation, and perhaps in my sentiments too, I took my leave of these worthy people, and proceeded to an enchanting house, the entrance to which was through a park, planted with trees on each side, and between rivulets, with an artificial water-fall, ornamented with bright lamps. In front of this beautiful mansion was a lake, upon which the light from the windows was reflected, and gave it the appearance of the enchanted temple of Apollo, in which Pagans performed the absurd ceremonies of their religion. In short, on my arrival at this delightful house, the charms of which were heightened by the graciousness and affability with which I was received, I thought myself in Paradise.

            At supper we enjoyed a very pleasant conversation the. whole family appeared to me entirely free from reserve. My straw bed afforded them good materials for a joke, which the young lady introduced, by declaring she was the author of my feather bed, for which she expected a reward, and begged me to give her a tune upon the guitar, knowing I performed on that instrument. It would have been a crime to refuse so obliging an invitation: I gave orders to bring it, and in the interval she got up and began to play on the piano-forte. Her taste and execution astonished me, and I found her a proficient, both in music and in painting. She admired my instrument, and was so much pleased with my music, that she requested me to set it for the piano-forte. This flattering demand I promised to comply with, and to send the music from Sligo, the distance not being great.

            After this conversation, and after spending a very pleasant evening, I was conducted to my bed-room, which, I must observe, was fitted up for a king, rather than for such a humble traveller as myself. I was treated in every respect with the greatest hospitality and politeness. On the following morning I took leave of this amiable family, who loaded me with their kind attentions?

 

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